Undersecretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Khaled Al-Jarallah is seen visiting the Indian pavilion at the Diamond Ballroom of Sheraton Hotel
Majority of expatriates save to buy house or property Some focus on children’s education

In this week’s online poll, Arab Times asked voters the objective of their savings. A majority of the voters, 28%, said they save to acquire a house or some property. This is the top priority of expatriates, especially from the subcontinent.

A house is important because it gives a sense of security, respondents said. “It gives us the psychological comfort that we have somewhere to go in case of a sudden bad turn in life.”
Many of the interviewees who spoke to the Arab Times said that they already have bought or built a house back home. Some are seeking to buy up plots of land as realty is booming at an alarming rate in most parts of the world.

There are also many whose dream of a house has gone unfulfilled because of low savings. For those opting for flats, bank loans are easily available. During the survey, Arab Times also came to learn about many people who were cheated by bogus realtors, who disappeared after taking money from them.
Another large group of voters said they save for their children’s education. Respondents speaking to the Arab Times on this subject considered education as the best investment they can make for their children. “In this age where educational disciplines are expanding by the year, with a specialty for every walk of life, education is a sure-shot means of giving children a good future.”

About 15% of the voters would put away their money for old age security.  A growing number of people are increasingly getting concerned about their retired life. The fear arises from an awareness of the changes in the modern society, said interviewees. “While parents invest heavily on children, they also know that they can’t expect their children to be with them all the time as the youth dream of settling in foreign countries to establish their careers.”

However, parents look at the situation pragmatically, and feel the need to save for rainy days so they wouldn’t have to depend on their children when they get old.

Children’s marriage seemed to be the main motivation behind savings for 3% of the voters. Marriages in India are costly affairs with bridal dowry playing an important part in finding able suitors for girls. The dowry that a girl takes to her in-laws’ house decides the amount of respect she commands there. However, this was only a small minority of voters, and most of them felt that with the coming generation having a relaxed attitude towards marriage, and more preferring to find their own life partners, this is a trend that’s fast waning away.

Four percent of the voters wanted to save to invest in high-return ventures. 2% are saving to buy luxury items. About 24% of the voters did not care for saving. They preferred to live life for the moment instead of waiting for good times in the future.

By: Valiya S. Sajjad Arab Times Staff

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